If there is one thing I learned from the movie San Andreas, it is that I never want to move to a big city like LA or San Francisco. If I am ever in a massive earthquake, I feel like I will have enough to worry about without skyscrapers falling on me. Let’s face it, if this movie had been set out in the country somewhere, it would have been much less eventful.
The plot of this film is pretty easy to summarize. There is a huge earthquake, lots of CGI, and The Rock. Disaster movie fun. That’s about all there is to it, really. There is an attempt at a little deeper story involving Dwayne Johnson and his family, but none of that really matters in the big scheme of things.
This movie is full of conveniences, but the most obvious and important one is when the actual quake happens. This scientist, played by the excellent Paul Giamatti, is at Hoover Dam studying earthquakes at the very moment when the series of monsters start happening. In fact, the first thing to be destroyed in these quakes is, in fact, Hoover Dam itself. That’s the first thing about the movie that really bothered me. I enjoyed the opening sequence and I was ready to give this film a chance, and then this unbelievable coincidence took me right out of the story.
The biggest problem this movie had can be summed up in one word; CLICHES. Every single cliché in the book came into play here. They didn’t miss one. There was even a “twist two wires together to start the car” scene. The whole story is way too generic. We have seen all of this a million times before. There is nothing remotely new or creative anywhere near this movie.
It’s not all bad. Most of the acting in this film is actually pretty good. Johnson and Giamatti do everything they can to save it. I would love to see Johnson play in something that is not absolutely terrible. It has been a while. All the acting is not great but there is nobody in the movie that is bad. My favorite character in the film was a British kid played by Art Parkinson. He was the only character in the movie that wasn’t completely generic.
There are some cool visuals in the film. Most of the CGI is done pretty well. The problem is, there is just way too much of it. After a while, it gets boring seeing buildings fall down. Some of the shots I really like were big overhead shots of the city or Golden Gate Bridge. There was a scene in which two characters are parachuting into AT&T Park that was well done. For the most part though, it was just a complete CGI bombardment of the senses.
The ending was very bad. It was predictable and, like everything else in the film, as generic as it could possibly be. I didn’t want anything else bad to happen to these characters. Not because I cared about any of them, but because I wanted the movie to be over. At one point, I thought it was over and then some other unrealistic stuff happened and it went on for another few minutes. The last line of the film is ridiculous and left me wondering what exactly the point was of all this overblown junk I had just sat through.
Unless you want to turn your brain completely off and stare at special effects for two hours, do not go see this movie. There is nothing else here. I had a pretty good idea what I was going to get with this film, but I gave it a fair chance. I actually tried to like it. That attempt didn’t last long. The Movie Man gives it 2 out of 5 stars.
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